What can you possibly say about an art-college dropout that was discovered singing Motown classics in a clubhouse toilet while she was drunk? Welcome to the wonderful, and slightly lulu world of Florence Welch.
The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, or record chest in Florence’s case. Raised in London by bohemian parents – her dad’s a Beatles fan and her mum’s an art historian – Florence was nurtured on Tom Jones, The Velvet Underground, The Smiths, The Monkees, and later Nirvana and Green Day. On her 13th birthday, she went to her first Reading Festival wearing “pink fairy wings and a padded bra. Faaark!” she relates.
Now at 22, Flo has got a band called Florence and the Machine and it’s turning heads and ears everywhere! Performing soul-inspired indie or folk-art, NME booked it to tour with White Lies, Friendly Fires and Glasvegas. BBC and her Brit Award say that it’s the next big thing for 2009. And they have graced the stages of Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds festivals – all without an album.
On that matter, Florence says, “I’m making my album at the moment – it’s sort of sounding like a choir, a harp, some metal chains and a piano all put through a car crusher, then hit with wooden planks really hard.” And who else to help her achieve that cacophony than Simian Mobile Disco’s James Ford, who helped shape the Klaxons’ sound. Due to be released sometime this year, no album release date has been given.
What we do know is that the two singles FATM has released on indie-label Moshi Moshi are vastly different. ‘Kiss With A Fist’ sounds like a pop-punk Lily Allen that’s had one too many, while ‘Dog Days Are Over’ is a pounding Patti Smith number that showcases Florence’s powerful vocal capabilities.
What marks her out are her lyrics – metaphorical fairy tales about sex, violence, revenge and donkeys. That and the awesome covers of indie hits like Cold War Kids’ ‘Hospital Beds’ and Mystery Jets’ ‘Flakes’. J
Click your heels and head over to www.myspace.com/florenceandthemachinemusic for a little magic.